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#28- "Swampfire!"
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciller: Marie Severin

Summary:
Torpedo, Mutt, Junkyard and Tripwire make it back to the Jane and map out the swamp for the assault team. Zartan and the Dreadnoks, aware that the Joes are planning an assault, all turn tail and leave the swamp. Destro, Wild Weasel and the Baroness go downriver where they've had three Cobra Rattlers conceiled in water tanks. Destro and Wild Weasel each take one and fly back to the swamp, while the Baroness heads back to Springfield. Once there, she visits a detained Major Bludd and enlists his helps for an upcoming plan. Back in the swamp, Cobra Commander and Firefly discover Zartan's defense system-- a series of robotic HISS Tanks and robot troopers. The Joes head off into the swamp with the new WHALE hovercraft, the Dragonfly and the recently arrived MOBAT. Destro engages the WHALE in a duel with his Rattler, while the MOBAT runs the robot guards. The WHALE takes down Destro's Rattler, but not beore Deep-Six is injured. Wild Weasel flies Cobra Commander bak to Springfield, stranding Firefly in the swamp. Destro and Firefly meet up and plot revenge on Cobra Commander abandoning them. Meanwhile, Zartan and the Dreadnoks head north on their cycles. Look out, Joes-- four losers on bikes are coming!!

Notes:

  • The MOBAT team of Steeler, Clutch and Breaker is back! They appear to be joined by Grunt, too
  • The MOBAT arrives in Florida via a concealed train car.
  • Two local sheriffs ("Sheriff" and "R.L") and their squad car join up with the MOBAT. The duo are deliberately made to look like Laurel and Hardy. The MOBAT accidentally tears off the side of their cruiser.
  • When the Sheriff sees the robot troops he hollers in delight as he opens fire: "Yahoo! Them's ain't anarchists! Them's is robots!!"
  • Another comedy gag where the WHALE drives by the house of an old couple who resemble the famous "American Gothic" painting.
  • Duke and Roadblock arrive together, once again working as a tag-team.
  • The Cobra dungeon where Major Bludd is held is located below the "Fresh as a Daisy Car Wash".
  • During the Rattler duel, Deep-Six's turret won't elevate, so Roadblock rips it off with his Superhuman Machine Gunner Powers and provides the ample elevation. Roadblock took over for Gung-Ho as the team's "Stong Guy", but he also doubled as their very own B.A. Barracus. Remember, "the A-Team" was still pretty popular aorund this time.
  • Doc is in the gunner's seat this time out, not Airborne. Which explains why the Dragonfly doesn't engage in any fights, it just flies recon.
  • Deep Six appears without his trademark diver armor. Looks like a regular Coast Guardsman, complete with a "Gilligan" hat. He resembles the 1990 "Topside" character. One of the first real instances where a Joe goes into combat in an outfit that is clearly different from his action figure.
  • It's not clear, but it appears that Firefly blows up Zartan's shack out of frustration. Or else Cobra Commander rigged it to blow. Either way, the Joes see the debris and figure that any Cobra involvement in south Florida is over.
  • An uber-fan might believe that Zartan's robot horde is the unofficial first appearance of the BATs (Battle Android Troopers), but that's stretching it.
  • Cobra Commander is beginning to resemble his cowardly cartoonish self. As he leaves Firefly, he thinks to himself: "I'll have to restock my supply of lackies"
  • Zartan is clearly down to three Dreadnoks now. Whoever the fourth and fifth guys were in issue 25, they disappeared.
  • This was another "toy jam" issue with its own commercial. It's the official debut of the Rattler with the correct engines turbines (its protype had debutted in issue 22 with different engine turbines, closer to the real A-10 Thunderbolt). After the comic was off the stands, the commercial was re-worked to sell the WHALE and Rattler toys-- the two biggies for the 1984 Xmas season.
Appearances:
Characters (with figures): Torpedo, Tripwire, Mutt, Junkyard, Cutter, Deep-Six, Roadblock, Duke, Breaker, Clutch, Steeler, Grunt, Wild Bill, Doc, Destro, Cobra Commander, Wild Weasel, Baroness, Zartan, Torch, Ripper, Buzzer, Major Bludd

Characters (no action figures, or "comic-only" characters): R.L & the Sheriff

Vehicles and stuff (toys): Dragonfly, WHALE, MOBAT, Cobra Rattler, Cobra Water Mocassin, Cobra HISS, Zartan's Swamp Skiier
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): G.I. Jane Freighter

Firsties:
Characters:none
Vehicles: WHALE

Rating: 2 Flag Points

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